Week 2: Robin Alexander - Taking a dialogic stance

‘Dialogic teaching harnesses the power of talk to engage interest, stimulate thinking, advance understanding, expand ideas, and build and evaluate arguments, empowering students for lifelong learning and democratic engagement.’

Alexander, R.J. (2020). A Dialogic Teaching Companion, Routledge, p.1

This week we look at the ways in which attending to classroom ethos can support educators and learners to take a dialogic stance. We ask, how does subscribing to core dialogic principles enable educators to develop a range of repertoires to facilitate teaching and learning?  

Reflective Journal Template

Use the Week 2 reflective journal template to make notes as you work through the following tasks.


Watch the following video for an overview of the week’s theme:

You can download the video transcript here.

Watch this video where Robin Alexander joins us to discuss his work and taking a dialogic stance:

Note that this interview is also available as an audio resource (you may prefer to listen to the interview whilst on a walk!):


This week’s readings and resources for you to review are as follows:

  • Core reading: This is a handout prepared for this week, which includes helpful passages from Alexander’s work.

Optional further readings and resources:


  • Thinking about your classroom, evaluate how far it reflects Alexander’s dialogic principles. The Week 2 reflective journal template has some helpful prompts to support you in this activity.
  • In your Week 2 journal, write a reflective account of your classroom practice in relation to either Alexander’s principles and/or his dialogic repertoires. There’s a space for you to do this at the end of the template. Reminder: the weekly accounts you are asked to write in your reflective journals do not need to be submitted. Rather, they are meant to help you record your thoughts and should be drawn on when writing your final learning product. Your final learning product is the only piece of writing you are asked to officially submit for this course.


Discussion forum tasks for this week:

  1. In the Week 2 channel on the discussion forum, post a response to at least one of these questions:
    • Why might it be important for educators to take a dialogic stance in their classroom?
    • In what ways might Alexander’s Dialogic Principles help us to develop a dialogic stance?
    • How might we work on developing our Dialogic Repertoires as educators?
  2. Now, read through others’ responses to these questions and reply with your ideas to at least one person. Remember that the discussion forum is your ‘space’ to reflect with others so feel free to engage with the other channels as well!

Discussion forum

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